New Stern council focuses on social impact, community

Shawn Paik/WSN

Stern’s Social Impact Council sheds a different light on opportunities available to Stern students outside of what are thought to be typical business careers. Charisse Tay, Social Impact Council president said Stern students are often focused on careers in finance and marketing and pay little attention to careers with “social impact,” which she defines as “any activity that manages to effect positive social change, whether it generates profit or not.”

The council brings together Stern students who know the importance and value that social impact work can do for a community.

“Many of us in the council have been greatly impacted by our experiences serving the community and seeking to advocate for social change,” Tay said. “We’d like to see more undergraduates at Stern experience the same.”

Their endeavours range anywhere from nonprofits to social entrepreneurship.

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“The world of business includes a whole breadth of opportunities we don’t realize — the most notable of which is social impact business,” Social Impact Council member and Stern sophomore Susmitha Ganagoni said. “Social impact is often vastly underrated, when in fact it brings a bigger perspective to business than just profit — it highlights the profit in doing good.”

The council also seeks to reach out to Stern students through the Social Impact Spotlight which acknowledges students for their work in social impact businesses.

“The SI Spotlight was created for the upcoming fall semester to recognize accomplished students in the social impact field,” Ganagoni said. “This program is created to bring those students into the spotlight and inspire other students to follow in their footsteps.”

The Social Impact Spotlight will further the council’s goals of raising awareness to students about social impact business by bringing attention to those who have already made an impact through their work. The spotlight will recognize its first student at the beginning of the semester, and it will continue to distinguish a student each month.

“Oftentimes, social impact is overshadowed by other, more conventional career paths, and students who go out of their comfort zone, take risks and get involved in truly innovative SI projects go unnoticed,” Ganagoni said.

Stern sophomore Lori Berenberg, although not in the council itself, said she is excited for how the Social Impact Council can affect Stern as a whole.

“The Social Impact council is an incredible opportunity for meaningful leadership at Stern,” Berenberg said. “The current leadership team has worked really hard to get this off the ground, and I can see it turning into an essential part of Stern student leadership.”

Stern students will be showcasing their social impact businesses during an Alumni Mingle planned by the council. The event is scheduled for Oct. 2 at the Stern School of Business.

Bailey Evans is deputy features editor. Email her at [email protected]

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